Poinsettia | Euphorbia pulcherrima

One of the houseplants that most often graces our windowsills and tables during the festive period is the beautifully vibrant Poinsettia. Originating from Mexico, Euphorbia pulcherrima is commonly known as Poinsettia after Joel Robert Poinsett, the American ambassador to Mexico in the 1820-30’s.

Poinsettias have distinctive, brightly-coloured bracts. They require 12 hours of darkness followed by daylight for around a week to promote the bract colouring. This is why the bracts create their colour in the autumn-winter, due to the increased hours of darkness and shortened days.

As a result, they are an extremely popular houseplant to brighten the home at Christmas time, or as a gift.

Poinsettia Varieties

Modern varieties of poinsettia are available in a wide range of hues; reds, pinks, greens and more. It is the rich red that is most commonly seen in homes during the festive season.

Flowering time: November – December

Sun: Poinsettias need a warm, draught-free spot in the home

Soil: Moist, well-drained soil

Hardiness: Not hardy

Poinsettia Growing Guide


Cold conditions and draughts damage the foliage on Poinsettias. Be careful about where you position them in your home and how you transport them. The temperature should be at least 13-15°C. A sunny, draught-free windowsill is ideal.

Poinsettia Planting Ideas

For a spectacular table display, place several poinsettias in a large bowl and top with moss

Poinsettia Fact

The botanical name for poinsettias, euphorbia pulcherrima, roughly translates as ‘very beautiful.’